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#1116 - Women's Industrial Restaurant
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January 8, 2013 # 1116 Women's Industrial Restaurant
Last month on December 7th, we not only observed Pearl Harbor Day, we here in Baltimore celebrated the anniversary of a beloved institution: the restaurant at the Women's Industrial Exchange marked its first anniversary under new management. We invited Irene Smith, the head honcho of the Women's Industrial Kitchen to be our guest.
The Exchange has long been one of downtown's most popular lunch spots, and it was recently recognized as one of the top 100 restaurants in Baltimore. The Exchange is the very ideal of Baltimore Tradition, especially the restaurant. For decades patrons have relished the classic chicken salad, tomato aspic and deviled eggs that were staples of the menu. But their offering go far beyond that today. Under the direction of the very talented Executive Chef Ontaria Kirby, The Kitchen has retained the old favorites, updated others, and developed new dishes for an evolving, expanding menu.
The Women's Industrial Kitchen celebrates many things, not the least of which is the contribution of Baltimore's working women. Chef Ontaria's philosophy also celebrates local food and seasonal eating. She has already formed close relationships with local farmers, and delights in bringing fresh ingredients to the table. We recently had a kale and sweet potato salad that was as delicious as it was up to the moment.
The Women's Industrial Kitchen specializes in lunch for the young, busy downtown crowd, who love to stop by for a quick bite. As a nod to busy work schedules, the Kitchen has a bustling carry-out service, allowing folks to call in their orders for pickup.
But Irene Smith is going beyond lunch. Her kitchen also supports a superb catering service that specializes in exceeding the expectations of her customers. And the restaurant itself is becoming a popular spot for meetings and banquets.
It's frequently difficult to keep a venerable tradition fresh, but Irene Smith is doing just that with her wonderful work at The Women's Industrial Kitchen. As a younger generation discovers the pleasures of Baltimore dining, they will learn what a lot of us (of a certain age) have known all along: you can't beat hometown home cooking.
The Women's Industrial Exchange is located at 333 North Charles Street, and the Women's Industrial Kitchen is right there on the first floor, just past the sock monkeys. Call them at 410-685-4388.